Joshua M Spin

Stanford University, Stanford, California, United States

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Publications (46)325.71 Total impact


  • No preview · Article · Jan 2016 · Circulation
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    ABSTRACT: Rationale: Genetic variation at the chromosome 9p21 cardiovascular risk locus has been associated with peripheral artery disease (PAD), but its mechanism remains unknown. Objective: To determine whether this association is secondary to an increase in atherosclerosis, or is the result of a separate angiogenesis-related mechanism. Methods and results: Quantitative evaluation of human vascular samples revealed that carriers of the 9p21 risk allele possess a significantly higher burden of immature intraplaque microvessels than carriers of the ancestral allele, irrespective of lesion size or patient comorbidity. To determine whether aberrant angiogenesis also occurs under non-atherosclerotic conditions, we performed femoral artery ligation surgery in mice lacking the 9p21 candidate gene, Cdkn2b. These animals developed advanced hind-limb ischemia and digital auto-amputation, secondary to a defect in the capacity of the Cdkn2b-deficient smooth muscle cell (SMC) to support the developing neovessel. Microarray studies identified impaired TGFβ signaling in cultured CDKN2B-deficient cells, as well as TGFβ1 upregulation in the vasculature of 9p21 risk allele carriers. Molecular signaling studies indicated that loss of CDKN2B impairs the expression of the inhibitory factor, SMAD-7, which promotes downstream TGFβ activation. Ultimately, this manifests in the upregulation of a poorly studied effector molecule, TGFβ1-induced-1, which is a TGFβ-'rheostat' known to have antagonistic effects on the EC and SMC. Dual knockdown studies confirmed the reversibility of the proposed mechanism, in vitro. Conclusions: These results suggest that loss of CDKN2B may not only promote cardiovascular disease through the development of atherosclerosis, but may also impair TGFβ signaling and hypoxic neovessel maturation.
    No preview · Article · Nov 2015 · Circulation Research
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    ABSTRACT: Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality among patients with diabetes mellitus (DM). DM can lead to multiple cardiovascular complications, including coronary artery disease (CAD), cardiac hypertrophy, and heart failure (HF). HF represents one of the most common causes of death in patients with DM and results from DM-induced CAD and diabetic cardiomyopathy. Oxidative stress is closely associated with the pathogenesis of DM and results from overproduction of reactive oxygen species (ROS). ROS overproduction is associated with hyperglycemia and metabolic disorders, such as impaired antioxidant function in conjunction with impaired antioxidant activity. Long-term exposure to oxidative stress in DM induces chronic inflammation and fibrosis in a range of tissues, leading to formation and progression of disease states in these tissues. Indeed, markers for oxidative stress are overexpressed in patients with DM, suggesting that increased ROS may be primarily responsible for the development of diabetic complications. Therefore, an understanding of the pathophysiological mechanisms mediated by oxidative stress is crucial to the prevention and treatment of diabetes-induced CVD. The current review focuses on the relationship between diabetes-induced CVD and oxidative stress, while highlighting the latest insights into this relationship from findings on diabetic heart and vascular disease.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2015 · International Journal of Molecular Sciences
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    ABSTRACT: Despite advances in stent technology for vascular interventions, in-stent restenosis (ISR) because of myointimal hyperplasia remains a major complication. We investigated the regulatory role of microRNAs in myointimal hyperplasia/ISR, using a humanized animal model in which balloon-injured human internal mammary arteries with or without stenting were transplanted into Rowett nude rats, followed by microRNA profiling. miR-21 was the only significantly upregulated candidate. In addition, miR-21 expression was increased in human tissue samples from patients with ISR compared with coronary artery disease specimen. We systemically repressed miR-21 via intravenous fluorescein-tagged-locked nucleic acid-anti-miR-21 (anti-21) in our humanized myointimal hyperplasia model. As expected, suppression of vascular miR-21 correlated dose dependently with reduced luminal obliteration. Furthermore, anti-21 did not impede reendothelialization. However, systemic anti-miR-21 had substantial off-target effects, lowering miR-21 expression in liver, heart, lung, and kidney with concomitant increase in serum creatinine levels. We therefore assessed the feasibility of local miR-21 suppression using anti-21-coated stents. Compared with bare-metal stents, anti-21-coated stents effectively reduced ISR, whereas no significant off-target effects could be observed. This study demonstrates the efficacy of an anti-miR-coated stent for the reduction of ISR. © 2015 American Heart Association, Inc.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2015 · Arteriosclerosis Thrombosis and Vascular Biology
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    ABSTRACT: -Stiffening of the aortic wall is a phenomenon consistently observed in age and in abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA). However, its role in AAA pathophysiology is largely undefined. -Using an established murine elastase-induced AAA model, we demonstrate that segmental aortic stiffening (SAS) precedes aneurysm growth. Finite element analysis (FEA) reveals that early stiffening of the aneurysm-prone aortic segment leads to axial (longitudinal) wall stress generated by cyclic (systolic) tethering of adjacent, more compliant wall segments. Interventional stiffening of AAA-adjacent aortic segments (via external application of surgical adhesive) significantly reduces aneurysm growth. These changes correlate with reduced segmental stiffness of the AAA-prone aorta (due to equalized stiffness in adjacent segments), reduced axial wall stress, decreased production of reactive oxygen species (ROS), attenuated elastin breakdown, and decreased expression of inflammatory cytokines and macrophage infiltration, as well as attenuated apoptosis within the aortic wall. Cyclic pressurization of segmentally stiffened aortic segments ex vivo increases the expression of genes related to inflammation and extracellular matrix (ECM) remodeling. Finally, human ultrasound studies reveal that aging, a significant AAA risk factor, is accompanied by segmental infrarenal aortic stiffening. -The present study introduces the novel concept of segmental aortic stiffening (SAS) as an early pathomechanism generating aortic wall stress and triggering aneurysmal growth, thereby delineating potential underlying molecular mechanisms and therapeutic targets. In addition, monitoring SAS may aid the identification of patients at risk for AAA.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2015 · Circulation
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    ABSTRACT: Treatment of decompensated heart failure often includes administration of levosimendan. Myeloperoxidase (MPO) is released during polymorphonuclear neutrophil (PMN) degranulation, and mediates dysregulation of vascular tone in heart failure. We evaluated the effects of levosimendan-treatment on MPO in patients with acute decompensation of chronic heart failure over a one week course. Plasma MPO levels were significantly decreased after levosimendan treatment (from 252.1 ± 31.1 pmol/l at baseline to 215.02 ± 27.96 pmol/l at 6 h, p < 0.05). Ex vivo incubation of whole blood with levosimendan decreased MPO release after PMN-stimulation (8.2 ± 1.4-fold increase at baseline vs. 6.0 ± 1.1-fold increase with levosimendan). MPO levels also significantly correlated with diastolic blood pressure over the time course. In a multivariate linear model, the main contributor to systolic, diastolic and mean blood pressure was level of PMN elastase. MPO contributed only in heparin-treated patients, suggesting a more significant role for endothelial-bound MPO than for circulating MPO or elastase with respect to blood pressure regulation. We here provide the first evidence that levosimendan treatment inhibits MPO release by PMNs in decompensated heart failure patients. This mechanism may regulate endothelial function and vascular tone in heart failure patients.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2015 · Scientific Reports

  • No preview · Article · Apr 2015 · The Journal of Heart and Lung Transplantation

  • No preview · Article · Feb 2015
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    ABSTRACT: Identification and treatment of abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) remain among the most prominent challenges in vascular medicine. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are crucial regulators of cardiovascular pathology and represent intriguing targets to limit AAA expansion. Here we show, by using two established murine models of AAA disease along with human aortic tissue and plasma analysis, that miR-24 is a key regulator of vascular inflammation and AAA pathology. In vivo and in vitro studies reveal chitinase 3-like 1 (Chi3l1) to be a major target and effector under the control of miR-24, regulating cytokine synthesis in macrophages as well as their survival, promoting aortic smooth muscle cell migration and cytokine production, and stimulating adhesion molecule expression in vascular endothelial cells. We further show that modulation of miR-24 alters AAA progression in animal models, and that miR-24 and CHI3L1 represent novel plasma biomarkers of AAA disease progression in humans.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2014 · Nature Communications
  • Joshua M Spin · Philip S Tsao

    No preview · Article · Oct 2014 · Circulation Research
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    ABSTRACT: Somatostatin receptor subtype 2 (SSTR2) is the most frequently expressed SSTR subtype in normal human tissues. SSTR2 expression is differentially regulated in various tumor types and therapeutic somatostatin analogs binding to SSTR2 are in clinical use. In prostate cancers highly contradictory results in terms of SSTR2 expression and its consequences have been published over the past years. The aim of this study was to clarify prevalence and clinical significance of SSTR2 expression in prostate cancer. Therefore, quantitative immunohistochemistry (IHC) using a tissue microarray containing samples from 3,261 prostate cancer patients with extensive clinical and molecular cancer characteristics and oncological follow-up data was performed. IHC data was compared to publicly available Gene Expression Omnibus datasets of human prostate cancer gene expression arrays. While membranous SSTR2 staining was always seen in normal prostate epithelium, SSTR2 staining was absent in more than half (56.1%) of 2,195 interpretable prostate cancer samples. About 13% of all analyzed prostate cancers showed moderate to strong cytoplasmic and membranous SSTR2 staining. Staining intensities were inversely correlated with high Gleason grade, advanced pT category, high tumor cell proliferation (p<0.0001 each), high pre-operative PSA levels, (p = 0.0011) and positive surgical margins (p = 0.006). In silico analysis confirmed lower SSTR2 gene expression in prostate cancers vs. normal adjacent tissue (p = 0.0424), prostate cancer metastases vs. primary cancers (p = 0.0011) and recurrent vs. non-recurrent prostate cancers (p = 0.0438). PSA-free survival gradually declined with SSTR2 staining intensity (p<0.0001). SSTR2-negative cancers were more likely to develop metastases over time (p<0.05). In conclusion, most prostate cancers are indeed SSTR2-negative and loss of SSTR2 strongly predicts an unfavorable tumor phenotype and poor prognosis. Therefore, SSTR2 expression seems an important factor in the pathogenesis of prostate cancer and re-introduction of the receptor in SSTR2-negative prostate cancers may feature a promising target for novel gene therapy approaches.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2014 · PLoS ONE
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    Lars Maegdefessel · Joshua M Spin · Philip S Tsao

    Full-text · Article · Jul 2014 · Arteriosclerosis Thrombosis and Vascular Biology
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    ABSTRACT: Despite the introduction of antiproliferative drug-eluting stents, coronary heart disease remains the leading cause of death in the United States. In-stent restenosis and bypass graft failure are characterized by excessive smooth muscle cell (SMC) proliferation and concomitant myointima formation with luminal obliteration. Here we show that during the development of myointimal hyperplasia in human arteries, SMCs show hyperpolarization of their mitochondrial membrane potential (ΔΨm) and acquire a temporary state with a high proliferative rate and resistance to apoptosis. Pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase isoform 2 (PDK2) was identified as a key regulatory protein, and its activation proved necessary for relevant myointima formation. Pharmacologic PDK2 blockade with dichloroacetate or lentiviral PDK2 knockdown prevented ΔΨm hyperpolarization, facilitated apoptosis and reduced myointima formation in injured human mammary and coronary arteries, rat aortas, rabbit iliac arteries and swine (pig) coronary arteries. In contrast to several commonly used antiproliferative drugs, dichloroacetate did not prevent vessel re-endothelialization. Targeting myointimal ΔΨm and alleviating apoptosis resistance is a novel strategy for the prevention of proliferative vascular diseases.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2014 · Nature
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    ABSTRACT: Significance: Arterial blood vessels functionally and structurally adapt to altering hemodynamic forces in order to accommodate changing needs and to provide stress homeostasis. This ability is achieved at the cellular level by converting mechanical stimulation into biochemical signals (i.e., mechanotransduction). Physiological mechanical stress helps maintain vascular structure and function, whereas pathologic or aberrant stress may impair cellular mechano-signaling, and initiate or augment cellular processes that drive disease. Recent advances: Reactive oxygen species (ROS) may represent an intriguing class of mechanically regulated second messengers. Chronically enhanced ROS generation may be induced by adverse mechanical stresses, and is associated with a multitude of vascular diseases. Although a causal relationship has clearly been demonstrated in large numbers of animal studies, an effective ROS-modulating therapy still remains to be established by clinical studies. Critical issues and future directions: This review article focuses on the role of various mechanical forces (in the form of laminar shear stress, oscillatory shear stress, or cyclic stretch) as modulators of ROS-driven signaling, and their subsequent effects on vascular biology and homeostasis, as well as on specific diseases such as arteriosclerosis, hypertension, and abdominal aortic aneurysms. Specifically, it highlights the significance of the various NADPH oxidase (NOX) isoforms as critical ROS generators in the vasculature. Directed targeting of defined components in the complex network of ROS (mechano-)signaling may represent a key for successful translation of experimental findings into clinical practice.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2013 · Antioxidants & Redox Signaling
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    ABSTRACT: The contribution of abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) disease to human morbidity and mortality has increased in the aging, industrialized world. In response, extraordinary efforts have been launched to determine the molecular and pathophysiological characteristics of the diseased aorta. This work aims to develop novel diagnostic and therapeutic strategies to limit AAA expansion and, ultimately, rupture. Contributions from multiple research groups have uncovered a complex transcriptional and post-transcriptional regulatory milieu, which is believed to be essential for maintaining aortic vascular homeostasis. Recently, novel small noncoding RNAs, called microRNAs, have been identified as important transcriptional and post-transcriptional inhibitors of gene expression. MicroRNAs are thought to "fine tune" the translational output of their target messenger RNAs (mRNAs) by promoting mRNA degradation or inhibiting translation. With the discovery that microRNAs act as powerful regulators in the context of a wide variety of diseases, it is only logical that microRNAs be thoroughly explored as potential therapeutic entities. This current review summarizes interesting findings regarding the intriguing roles and benefits of microRNA expression modulation during AAA initiation and propagation. These studies utilize disease-relevant murine models, as well as human tissue from patients undergoing OPEN ACCESS
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2013 · International Journal of Molecular Sciences
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    Matti Adam · Uwe Raaz · Joshua M Spin · Philip S Tsao
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    ABSTRACT: Abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAA) are an important source of morbidity and mortality in the U.S. and worldwide. Treatment options are limited, with open surgery or endovascular repair remaining the only curative treatments. Classical cardiovascular medications have generally failed to prevent or significantly alter AAA formation or progression. Therefore, there is a tremendous need for better therapeutic approaches. With increasing knowledge of microRNA (miR) regulation in the context of cardiovascular disease, and with improving technical options permitting alteration of miR-expression levels in vitro and in vivo, we are offered a glimpse into the diagnostic and therapeutic possibilities of using miRs to treat vascular pathobiology. This review focuses on the role of miRs in aneurysmal disease of the abdominal aorta, summarizing recent publications regarding this topic, and outlining known effects of relevant miRs in AAA formation, including miR-21 and miR-29b. Despite there being only limited studies available, several other miRs also display clear potential for alteration of the disease process including miR-26a, the miR-17-92-cluster, miRs-221/222, miR-133 and miR-146a. While studies have shown that miRs can regulate the activity and interplay of vascular inflammatory cells, endothelial cells, smooth muscle cells and fibroblasts, all key elements leading to AAA formation, much work remains to be done.
    Full-text · Article · May 2013 · Current Vascular Pharmacology
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    ABSTRACT: Pulmonary insufficiency (PI) is a common long-term sequel after repair of tetralogy of Fallot, causing progressive right ventricular (RV) dilation and failure. We describe the physiologic and molecular characteristics of the first murine model of RV volume overload. Methods: PI was created by entrapping the pulmonary valve leaflets with sutures. Imaging, catheterization and exercise testing were performed at 1, 3 and 6 months and compared to sham controls. RNA from the RV free wall was hybridized to Agilent whole-genome oligonucleotide microarrays. Results: Volume overload resulted in RV enlargement, decreased RV outflow tract shortening fraction at 1 month followed by normalization at 3 and 6 months (39±2, 44±2 and 41±2 vs. 46±3% in sham), early reversal of E/A ratio followed by pseudonormalization (0.87±0.08, 0.82±0.08 and 0.96±0.08 vs. 1.04±0.03, p<0.05), elevated end diastolic pressure (7.6±0.7, 6.9±0.8 and 7±0.5 vs. 2.7±0.2mmHg, p<0.05) and decreased exercise duration (26±0.4, 26±1 and 22±1.3 vs. 30±1.1 min, p<0.05). Subendocardial RV fibrosis was evident by 1 month. At 1 month, 372 genes were significantly downregulated. Mitochondrial pathways and G-protein coupled receptor signaling were the most represented categories. At 3 months, 434 genes were upregulated and 307 downregulated. While many of the same pathways continued to be downregulated, TNF-α, TGF-β1, p53-signaling, and extracellular matrix (ECM) remodeling transitioned from down- to upregulated. Conclusions: We describe a novel murine model of chronic RV volume overload recapitulating aspects of the clinical disease with gene expression changes suggesting early mitochondrial bioenergetic dysfunction, enhanced TGF-β signaling, ECM remodeling and apoptosis.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2013 · AJP Heart and Circulatory Physiology
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    ABSTRACT: Objective: Genomewide association studies have implicated allelic variation at 9p21.3 in multiple forms of vascular disease, including atherosclerotic coronary heart disease and abdominal aortic aneurysm. As for other genes at 9p21.3, human expression quantitative trait locus studies have associated expression of the tumor suppressor gene CDKN2B with the risk haplotype, but its potential role in vascular pathobiology remains unclear. Methods and results: Here we used vascular injury models and found that Cdkn2b knockout mice displayed the expected increase in proliferation after injury, but developed reduced neointimal lesions and larger aortic aneurysms. In situ and in vitro studies suggested that these effects were attributable to increased smooth muscle cell apoptosis. Adoptive bone marrow transplant studies confirmed that the observed effects of Cdkn2b were mediated through intrinsic vascular cells and were not dependent on bone marrow-derived inflammatory cells. Mechanistic studies suggested that the observed increase in apoptosis was attributable to a reduction in MDM2 and an increase in p53 signaling, possibly due in part to compensation by other genes at the 9p21.3 locus. Dual inhibition of both Cdkn2b and p53 led to a reversal of the vascular phenotype in each model. Conclusions: These results suggest that reduced CDKN2B expression and increased smooth muscle cell apoptosis may be one mechanism underlying the 9p21.3 association with aneurysmal disease.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2012 · Arteriosclerosis Thrombosis and Vascular Biology
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    ABSTRACT: Identification and treatment of abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) remains among the most prominent challenges in vascular medicine. MicroRNAs are crucial regulators of cardiovascular pathology and represent possible targets for the inhibition of AAA expansion. We identified microRNA-21 (miR-21) as a key modulator of proliferation and apoptosis of vascular wall smooth muscle cells during development of AAA in two established murine models. In both models (AAA induced by porcine pancreatic elastase or infusion of angiotensin II), miR-21 expression increased as AAA developed. Lentiviral overexpression of miR-21 induced cell proliferation and decreased apoptosis in the aortic wall, with protective effects on aneurysm expansion. miR-21 overexpression substantially decreased expression of the phosphatase and tensin homolog (PTEN) protein, leading to increased phosphorylation and activation of AKT, a component of a pro-proliferative and antiapoptotic pathway. Systemic injection of a locked nucleic acid-modified antagomir targeting miR-21 diminished the pro-proliferative impact of down-regulated PTEN, leading to a marked increase in the size of AAA. Similar results were seen in mice with AAA augmented by nicotine and in human aortic tissue samples from patients undergoing surgical repair of AAA (with more pronounced effects observed in smokers). Modulation of miR-21 expression shows potential as a new therapeutic option to limit AAA expansion and vascular disease progression.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2012 · Science translational medicine
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    Joshua M Spin · Lars Maegdefessel · Philip S Tsao
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    ABSTRACT: Differentiated vascular smooth muscle cells (SMCs) retain the capacity to modify their phenotype in response to inflammation or injury. This phenotypic switching is a crucial component of vascular disease, and is partly dependent on epigenetic regulation. An appreciation has been building in the literature for the essential role chromatin remodelling plays both in SMC lineage determination and in influencing changes in SMC behaviour and state. This process includes numerous chromatin regulatory elements and pathways such as histone acetyltransferases, deacetylases, and methyltransferases and other factors that act at SMC-specific marker sites to silence or permit access to the cellular transcriptional machinery and on other key regulatory elements such as myocardin and Kruppel-like factor 4 (KLF4). Various stimuli known to alter the SMC phenotype, such as transforming growth factor beta (TGF-β), platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF), oxidized phospholipids, and retinoic acid, appear to act in part through effects upon SMC chromatin structure. In recent years, specific covalent histone modifications that appear to establish SMC determinacy have been identified, while others alter the differentiation state. In this article, we review the mechanisms of chromatin remodelling as it applies to the SMC phenotype.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2012 · Cardiovascular Research

Publication Stats

1k Citations
325.71 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2002-2016
    • Stanford University
      • • Division of Cardiovascular Medicine
      • • Department of Medicine
      • • Department of Pediatrics
      • • Department of Ophthalmology
      Stanford, California, United States
  • 2015
    • McGill University
      Montréal, Quebec, Canada
  • 2003-2004
    • Stanford Medicine
      • Division of Cardiovascular Medicine
      Stanford, California, United States